Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Andrew Johnson

SWQ Branch President

Director Operations, CEO Designate, Somerset Regional Council

SWQ Branch committee

Dereck Sanderson

District Director (Darling Downs), 

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Luke Tanner

Manager Works, Goondiwindi Regional Council

Shelley Burchett

Assets Manager, Proterra Group

Seren McKenzie

Director Infrastructure Services, Southern Downs Regional Council

Maddy Stahlhut (Ambassador)

Graduate Engineer


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SWQ Branch President's Report, December 2019

I am very pleased to be your SWQ Branch President for the next two years and look forward to working with you and with our SWQ Branch committee. Committee members include Dereck Sanderson (TMR), Luke Tanner (Goondiwindi Regional Council), Shelley Burchett (Proterra Group) and Maddy Stahlhut (GHD and IPWEAQ Ambassador). We are also pleased to welcome Seren McKenzie back to the SWQ Branch committee.

The Call for Papers for the 2020 SWQ Branch conference has been issued with speakers asked to submit an abstract of their proposed topic by Thursday 12 December 2019 with the program finalised by late December. We encourage our younger professionals to submit an abstract and if accepted, your conference registration will be complimentary.

It is already less than three months until we meet in Stanthorpe, 20-22 February so registrations will open early in the New Year. Last year, we had a record-breaking 191 delegates in Gatton and we hope to break 200 delegates in 2020 in Stanthorpe. Given the size of the SWQ Branch conference bar tabs, we don’t expect to make too much of an impact on Stanthorpe’s water supply.

Last year in Gatton, we also launched a unique Tech Tour – a bike ride on the award-winning Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. This also launched TEAM IPWEAQ, our very own bike club for the not so avid bike rider. We couldn’t visit Stanthorpe without spending time in its renowned wineries and so TEAM IPWEAQ (anyone can join) will ride out again this year. More information coming soon on our 2020 ‘Tech Tour’ to be held Saturday morning, 22 February. Grapes are involved.

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail was a winner at the 2018 IPWEAQ excellence award in the Projects $2 - $5 million then went on to take out the top award, Project of the Year at the IPWEA awards in Hobart this year. Congratulations to the following SWQ Branch winners at the 2019 IPWEAQ Excellence Awards!

  • Woman in Engineering, Kym Murphy. Kym is the Regional Director, Downs South West, Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Young Engineer of the Year, Michael Shellshear from the Proterra Group
  • Futures Challenge winner – Mark Tomarchio, University of Southern Queensland (Bachelor of Engineering, Honours, Civil). This award was sponsored by Premise.
  • Goondiwindi Regional Council & Proterra Group – winner Projects $1 - $2 million for the Goondiwindi Levee Bank Restoration Project.
  • Toowoomba Regional Council – Highly Commended for the Road Safety award sponsored by Boral for its Toowoomba Regional Road Safety Strategy 2019-2023

All nominees and winners are featured in the 2019 Commemorative Book so please take a moment to check it out.

We have a few opportunities coming up for CPD including:

And if you didn’t get to attend the record-breaking IPWEAQ Annual Conference in Brisbane in October, you can subscribe to the conference proceedings with 22 CPD hours for just $600 plus GST (members). The Proceedings include videos of all presentations together with the accompanying PowerPoint Presentations and papers.

Thank you for supporting IPWEAQ over the past 12 months. Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in Stanthorpe just 12 weeks from now!

Andrew Johnson

Previous SWQ Branch President


Madison Stahlhut

IPWEAQ Ambassador, SWQ

Maddy has just started her career with GHD in Toowoomba after undertaking an internship with Toowoomba Regional Council. Maddie wants to motivate young women and men to become involved in engineering and showcase the benefits of what an engineering career in public works can offer.